The New England Patriots’ 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks delved deeper than the numbers in the final score.
It delved into Super Bowl history, franchise history and career history. And as a result, it’s time to delve into them.
Here is glance into 10 of the numbers that factored into the outcome Sunday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Four Championships for Belichick, Brady: Patriots head coach Bill Belichick tied Don Shula for most Super Bowl appearances by a head coach in league history in XLIX, while quarterback Tom Brady secured sole possession of first for most Super Bowl starts by a quarterback. Yet what the duo accomplished thenceforth in Glendale took the record books a step further. Belichick secured his 22nd postseason victory as an NFL head coach, while Brady secured his 21st. And over the course of their 15 years together, the two now have four Super Bowl victories in the six trips journeyed between them. For Belichick, that title mark ties him with Chuck Noll for most all-time. And for Brady, that title mark ties him with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw for most all-time.
Two Players Remain from XXXIX: Only Brady and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork are left from the 2004 Patriots team that defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX. Brady was in his fifth season then, and Wilfork was in his first. And both now find themselves back in a position they once stood. Just a decade older.
Brady Brings Himself to 53: The 37-year-old Brady headed into the game with 49 postseason passing touchdowns in his career. After a four-touchdown performance, he left it with 53, becoming the first quarterback to surpass 50 career touchdowns in a playoff career.
After Second Interception, Brady Goes 15-of-19: Brady threw two interceptions into the Seattle sea, but the Super Bowl MVP managed to 15-of-19 passing with two touchdowns after his second one with less than eight minutes to go in the third quarter. He finished 37-of-50 through the air with four total scores.
New England Backs Net 12 Carries of Under Two: The Patriots were held in check on the ground against the stingy Seahawks’ defensive front, amassing 60 yards on 19 carries by the likes of LeGarrette Blount, Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman. In the process, 12 of those attempts went for two yards or less.
Vereen Tallies 11 Receptions: Vereen’s presence in the passing game wasn’t flashy. But it was simply effective in moments when it needed to be, not unlike the moments J.R. Redmond was a part of some 14 Februaries ago. The fourth-year tailback out of the University of California headed to the flats and across the middle on the way to hauling in 11 passes from Brady, the second-largest catch output of his NFL career behind a 12-catch day against the Cleveland Browns last December. Along the way, he trekked forward for 64 yards and five first downs.
Wilson 0-for-2 in First 20 Minutes: Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw just two passes through the 8:24 juncture in the second quarter, with both falling incomplete. Wilson would pick up the pace from there, however, finishing 12-of-21 passing for 247 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He would also add three carries for 39 yards, escaping from the pocket when the Patriots lost gap integrity both inside and out.
Zero NFL Catches for Matthews Prior to Super Bowl: Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews never generated the first result on a Google search, he may now. The former Kentucky Wildcat, Cleveland Brown, Iowa Barnstormer and Winnipeg Blue Bomber entered the Super Bowl with zero NFL catches to his name, before leaving it with four for 109 yards and the game’s tying touchdown before halftime. The 6-foot-5, 218-pound target excelled in his matchups with cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Logan Ryan, and he elevated above them in the process.
First to Overcome 10-Point Second-Half Deficit: The Patriots found themselves down 24-14 with 4:54 remaining in the third, after Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson connected with wideout Doug Baldwin from three yards out. But New England was not out, storming back to score 14 unanswered. In doing so, the team became the first in Super Bowl history to overcome a 10-point second-half deficit. The only two other teams to overcome a 10-point deficit did so in the first half, with the Washington Redskins ultimately defeating the Denver Broncos by a score of 42-10 in XXII, and the New Orleans Saints defeating the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 31-17 in XLIV.
442 Days Separate Butler Interceptions: Malcolm Butler’s last interception arrived on Nov. 14, 2013. The cornerback was in his senior season at West Alabama after transferring from Hinds Community College two years prior. And it was one of two he would pick off before going undrafted in May and signing with the lone team that expressed interest in. On Feb. 1, 2015, on the biggest stage in the sport, one the one-yard line, Butler would pick off another.